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MyDealerOnline

"Sell Before You Buy"

Three’s a Party: The Role of Third Party Sites in Automotive Retail

Traditional automotive retail consists of two main players; the dealer and the consumer. Modern automotive retail consists of the dealer, the consumer and every other factor that now influences consumers' car buying decisions. From consumer shopping guides, to dealership reviews, to social recommendations on Facebook, we are given countless resources as consumers to guide our purchasing decisions in today's digitally-connected, review-friendly society. When it comes to third party automotive sites, three’s a party as they offer benefits for both the dealer and the consumer. This blog post explores the impact of third party marketplaces in the automotive retail sector and introduces an innovative solution for remarketing vehicles. 

Trends show that consumer shopping behaviors favor third party sites, utilizing such marketplaces as trustworthy and objective informational resources throughout the decision-making process. In fact, 2 out of 3 new car buyers, and 4 out of 5 used car buyers rely on independent research sites and marketplaces as a key resource in their car buying process.1 "Consumers like to comparison shop, and they want unbiased information that third party sites provide," stated Alex Vetter, CEO of Cars.com, at the 2015 Automotive News Retail Forum.2 As fragmented as the auto retailing industry is today, independent dealers continue to rely on third party sites to market their inventory. Third party sites allow consumers to view an array of inventory, shop around and find a good deal. Convenience is key for today’s consumer and the convenience of third party sites is rooted in massive amounts of inventory, avenues for comparability and reliable consumer reviews all in one place. 

 

For dealers, third party sites offer marketing opportunities difficult for independent, franchise dealerships to initiate on their own. Third party sites are today’s classified newspapers ads with better results. "Few groups have the size and resources to strike out on their own and create websites sufficient to try to attract all the business they need internally," mentioned John Krafcik, President of TrueCar, Inc.3 Third party sites allow dealers to reach a wider audience, generate leads and advertise their dealership. According to Driving Sales News, 78% of consumers looking for used cars are using a third party site in their search. Out of this 78%, they also state that 60% of the time that consumers spend going through the buying process is spent on a third party site.4 With such a high percentage of lead and sale traffic coming from third-party sites, why wouldn’t every dealer's strategy focus on broadcasting their dealership on these types of marketplaces? 

 

Well for one, third party sites require a quality leads handling process and consistent communication to produce profitable ROI. Let’s face it, marketing inventory on these sites does come with a price and in order to reap the benefits in return, they require a significant amount of management and attention on the back-end. It is important for dealers to remember that many third party sites do not necessarily consider themselves lead providers but rather inventory marketing channels.5  Given the sheer volume of consumers visiting automotive marketplaces on a daily basis, third party sites offer viable avenues for dealers to market their inventory. However, third party sites do not necessarily serve as the lead-generating power tool designed to solve all dealer hardships in automotive retail. In the past few years, AutoNation has placed less emphasis on plugging money into third party site providers and turned its attention towards brand building. "I can pay them to build their brands, or I can build my own brand," referenced AutoNation's CEO, Mike Jackson, noting that the significant fees and subscription costs for online lead generation through third party sites simply wasn't worth the cost.6

 

Given the interesting twist of third party site advantages and disadvantages for dealers, what about a tool that offers consumers a massive selection of inventory AND provides dealers quality, manageable leads through their OWN website? MyDealerOnline's revolutionary software does just that. An auto remarketing tool designed for dealers to offer a greater inventory selection without increasing their upfront capital finance requirements, MyDealerOnline aggregates auto auction inventory and places it on subscribing dealers’ sites for consumer browsing. Car shopping consumers are able to browse this inventory tool and inquire about particular cars straight through MyDealerOnline’s interactive communication platform. Dealers get real-time lead alerts and consumers get fast responses to their inquiries. MyDealerOnline's solution bridges the gap between wholesale and retail, an opportunity not available through third party site providers. To learn more about this unique concept, visit mydealeronline.com for additional information. 

Tips to Turning Inventory in an Infiltrated Market

1 week, 1 month, 2 months, uh oh, don't say it; 3 months you've had a car sitting unsold on your lot. Once you've hit that three month threshold with a car you thought was going to be the next quick sell, you know it's time to start looking at other options for getting that vehicle off your lot. The unit starts aging, the return on investment begins declining and your stuck with a car that nobody seems to want. 

Trends show that sales in the used-car market have, in fact, increased over the years and will continue to do so with 38.3 million used-vehicle sales industry wide in 2015, the best annual tally in eight years, according to Edmund's 2015 Used Vehicle Market Report. Even so, are used-car dealers turning vehicles quickly enough to reduce profit loss? According to Dale Pollack, founder of vAuto, "The average market days' supply for many dealers’ used vehicle inventories is creeping toward or past 100 days. Typically, this critical metric, which indicates how quickly a dealer’s used vehicles are likely to sell in a local market, hovers near 80 days." So, what's causing cars to sit longer on used car dealers lots? Well, first of all, the supply side is flooded with inventory given the reintroduction of fleet and off-lease vehicles into the market. With a higher supply of inventory, demand lowers, and inventory turn rates decline.

Pollack offers three recommendations for helping dealers increase their inventory turn rates: 

1. Minimize acquisition mistakes- Appraise auction and trade-in vehicles with a clear view of their market potential. Looking for a guaranteed way to reduce acquisition mistakes? MyDealerOnline's auction inventory aggregation tool allows customers to browse off-side auction inventory from your website, where they can express interest and even place a deposit on a car ready for bid or buy at an auction. Imagine going to the auction already knowing which vehicles your customers want buy!? 

2. Match pricing to market conditions- With a high influx of vehicles on the supply side, you must match your inventory with competitive pricing models. With MyDealerOnline, you can set your own profit margins and dealer fees, buy cars at wholesale value and sell them to the eager customer at a reduced retail value because you did not have to finance the vehicle or wait for it to sell on your lot. 

3. Reduce average inventory age- Reduce each vehicles's days to sale in order to increase used vehicle performance and profitability. If you already know which auction vehicles consumers are interested in via MyDealerOnline's lead generation tool, then you have the opportunity purchase and sell a vehicle all in the same day. 

"Sell Before You Buy" can truly become a reality with MyDealerOnline. Turn inventory faster than you can flip a pancake and keep your profit margins high in a supply heavy market. 

Winter Storm Jonas Hit the East Coast Hard. Here’s How to Prevent your Dealership from Taking a Hit in Harsh Winter Weather Conditions.

With as warm and unpredictable as this winter season has been, it was an exciting change of pace when Winter Storm Jonas hit the east coast. The biggest downside to having a winter wonderland, however, has everything to do with our automobiles. Clearing out mountains of snow on driveways, salting sidewalks and streets to prevent slippery conditions, and increased risks while driving are just a few setbacks that result from these anticipated snow days. With all of the stress winter weather conditions put on your vehicle, think about the impact these conditions can have when trying to sell cars in the middle of a blizzard.

If you are snowed in, chances are that car dealerships are snowed in right there with you. As soon as the snow stops, it's common practice to shovel and remove the snow from on snowed intop and around your car. Imagine having to clean off hundreds of cars and having an entire lot to clear, not just a driveway. Winter conditions hit dealerships the hardest in regards to getting back to business after a storm. Rough winter weather conditions not only put pressure on the employees of the business, but also defers consumers from making the trek out to visit one or even multiple dealerships to go car shopping. Is there a plausible way to minimize the impact of extreme winter weather scenarios on business productivity, particularly in auto sales? 

Well, one way is to have inventory readily available on your website for consumers to browse. If you think about it, snow days may even make for the best car shopping days because consumers can sit on their laptops or mobiles and browse through vehicles all day at just the click of a button. In fact, AutoRemarketing.com reported that Winter Storm Jonas had little to no effect on the buying and selling of used cars, stating that sales were up by 2% when compared to the previous year. This can be attributed to the trend of online inventory being readily available to customers from dealerships. Not only does it broaden the inventory, but also creates ease for winter conditions as well. The fewer cars on the lot, the less working capital you have to provide to maintain those vehicles. Why not increase your inventory off the lot by adding thousands of readily available auction cars to your website?  
MyDealerOnline can bring these inventory considerations and much more to your dealership. Click here to find out how you can increase your online inventory to get you through the rest of this climate-confused winter season.

General Motors Succeeds in Tackling All Aspects of the Upcoming Automotive Industry, Even Millennials

News is going viral that within the next month General Motors will release an online platform to market and sell their used-car inventory. You may not think this is the first of it’s kind, but they have further released news about the additional features that will be offered to customers. AutoRemarketing states that some of those features include bumper-to-bumper warranties, flexible exchange programs, and bonus features added to the car itself such as an OnStar Guidance Plan, roadside assistance and satellite radio packages. General Motors also issued car history reports readily available to customers and a vast amount of information varying from numerous pictures of the car to how quickly the car can be available for delivery. This program has acquired highly acclaimed reviews by associates at Kelley Blue Book and is gaining interest by the day.

used cars

In addition, General Motors is releasing a car-sharing service to different demographics throughout the nation. This will enable a customer to acquire personal mobility at their convenience on their smart phone, just like Uber or Lyft, but without the additional service of a driver. The service will not be recognized as General Motors. Rather, it will be defined under a new identity brand named Maven. As mentioned by AutoRemarketing, this is a new start up in the industry and there are countless competing ideas and services being brought to the public each and every day. With this being said, take into consideration how millennials are approaching the automotive industry as it comes time for them to get behind the wheel.

It is becoming more prevalent that there are major differences among baby boomers and millennials on their views about common life occurrences. Take Harley Davidson, for example. Harley Davidson Motorcycles are struggling to remarket to millennials because their current target, which is baby boomers, has defined their brand as a desired, edgy lifestyle. This fad did not catch on as easily as it once did and is drastically declining revenue. Another lifestyle difference between baby boomers and millennials is the first car buying experience. Millennials are not seeing this occurrence of buying your first car as something to symbolize their freedom or holding enough importance to strike-up a conversation about. Rather, this experience is     us online.jpgbecoming passing small talk as told by AutoRemarketing.With this being said, millennials will steer more towards General Motors’ upcoming programs because they coincide with millennials’ needs of postponing the initial “first car experience” with car-sharing and dimming the excitement with used-car buying online. With millennials being targeted by mass media now more than ever before, should more companies start looking with the same social approach as General Motors? Have you ever considered the online aspect of your company? MyDealerOnline may have you covered.